Part two of the Test of Competence is a practical exam known as the OSCE. In this part you'll be tested on your clinical and communication skills.

You can sit your CBT or OSCE in any order, but you must successfully complete both parts to continue with your application for initial registration or readmission.

There are five approved OSCE test providers:

For an overview of the new OSCE read one of the following:

New structure

The new OSCE has 10 stations:

  • Four stations will continue to be linked together around a scenario: the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation)
  • Four stations to test skills (two pairs of two skills)
  • Two new stations to assess the candidate's values and behaviours and evidence-based practice.
Candidates with a legacy CBT

From Friday 27 May candidates who have a valid legacy CBT result can take the new 2021 OSCE.

This means that candidates who took the legacy CBT will no longer be required to have sat a legacy (Pre 2021) OSCE by 31 July 2022. They will be able to take the new OSCE without needing to take the ToC 2021 CBT. There are no changes to the validity period of CBTs which currently stands at two years.

Candidates taking the new OSCE must ensure that they are fully prepared and have familiarised themselves with the changes we have introduced. Support and preparation materials to help candidates can be found on our website.

Candidates that take the 2021 OSCE with a legacy CBT will be considered as meeting NMC’s pre-2018 professional standards for nursing and midwifery. As these candidates work towards their first revalidation they should consider the 2021 standards and focus on the areas of difference.

Our test centres

Candidates can take either the legacy or ToC 2021 OSCE at the University of Northampton, Ulster University and Oxford Brookes University. Our new sites at Northumbria University and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust provide the new 2021 test only. Information on how to book these can be found on our website.

Fees

The fee for the new OSCE will stay at £794. You'll also pay the same reduced resit fee of £397 if you need to resit 7 or fewer stations.

Booking your OSCE

Applying for initial registration

Once we've confirmed that you need to take the Test of Competence, you can book and pay for your OSCE with one of our test providers.

Applying for readmission

You can book your Test of Competence in your NMC Online account.

We’ll then send you an email with details of how to book and pay for your OSCE with one of our test providers.

Preparing for your OSCE

We suggest you read the following to prepare for your OSCE:

Test provider resources

Our approved test centres have published a number of resources to help you prepare for your OSCE, including mock OSCE scenarios.

Visit your chosen test centre's website for more information.

What to expect on the day

The information booklets above explain what you can expect throughout the entire OSCE process.

It also tells you what will happen on the day, as well as the rules for taking your OSCE.

Verifying your identity

You will need to show the test centre your valid passport so that they can verify your identity. This must be the same passport that you provided earlier in your application.

Someone at the test centre will also take your photograph for your ID that you need to wear while you're there.

I need to update my passport

If you get a new passport in the meantime, please contact us and we'll update this information within seven working days.

If your OSCE is in less than seven working days, please call us on 020 7333 6600.

Getting your result

We'll email your results to you within 15 working days of the date of your OSCE. 

If you pass your OSCE, you’ll get an email with details of what to do next.

If you fail your OSCE, you’ll get an email with feedback on which stations and elements you were unsuccessful in. This information will help you prepare for your resit attempt as you only need to resit the stations you did not pass.

If your NMC Online account shows you were unsuccessful but you haven’t received your feedback, please contact your test centre. We cannot provide the feedback to you.

Resitting the OSCE

You can take the OSCE a maximum of three times as part of your application, but you need to wait at least 10 days between each sitting.

If you do not pass your OSCE on your third attempt, your application will close and you’ll need to start a new application if you want to register with us. You must wait at least six months before you sit the OSCE again.

Appeals

You may be able to appeal if you believe that the process was compromised during the exam or an irregularity occurred in the conduct of the examination.

For more information about the appeals process, please read the OSCE information booklets.

Questions about your OSCE

If you have a query about your OSCE booking or exam results, please contact your test centre.